Oesophageal Patients Association
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Eating problems

Hi, my hubby was diagnosed about a month ago with oesophageal cancer and now at the assessment stage, my problem is what I can give him to eat, every day seems to get worse and today couldn’t manage weetabix, any suggestions would be much appreciated

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I'm afraid you will have to stick to things like soup, blended food and ice cream. I eat Weetabix but small grains from it can irritate the throat. Porridge is good, try soaking it overnight before cooking in the morning, much smoother and creamier. Good luck.

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Thank you

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I remember that stage well. It was difficult and frightening. I think you would be best getting advice from the hospital dietician as there are drinks which will supply the protein, vitamins and calories needed. Then you are free to add things that taste and/or feel good. That will probably be soup custard yogurt and I liked Tesco’s pots of gooseberry mousse as they took away some of the bad taste I had. The hospital drinks kept me healthy for the treatment I was given. I remember choking on s poached egg and being devasted that I couldn’t even manage that.

All the best. I hope you get the professional help you need.

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Thank you, we have an assessment appointment next week

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Maybe phone earlier if it’s all too much? I’m sorry I can’t be if more practical use. I expect you’ve tried other soft foods such as pates and yoghurts. I could manage mashed root vegatables with flakes of canned salmon or tuna. That was about it though.

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Thank you

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Hi my husband too has been at this stage and still has days where he cannot swallow (no op for him), and what he did (and still does) with Weetabix was to make it with boiled milk to cover the "bars" and have a jug of cold milk to continually keep the cereal covered with milk. It almost ends up like Weetabix soup but it gets there. A little tip from our dietician to try to keep the weight up, fortify whole milk with skimmed milk powder to increase the protein, calcium and calorie content. For every 1 pint milk, use 4-5 tablespoons powder (Marvel). there have been times when this was the only thing that kept my husband going. Complan milkshakes made with this fortified milk have as much goodnes as a light meal. Another tip from our dietician, if you have to blend food, blend the ingredients separately to keep the flavours seperate like you would with a regular meal, i.e. blend potatoes and put them on the plate, blend meat and do the same, etc. otherwise everything tastes how you would imagine a foodbin to taste - my husbands words not mine. - good luck!

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Thank you, good advice

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Hello Calzalbir,

Sorry to hear about your hubby. This a very difficult time as it is for all carers. What my wife did for me was she bought a thing called a 'Nutribullet'. This is a very powerful liquidiser. It can even liquidise nuts, using this she made me a litre of smoothie every day using and diary to make it palatable and nuts or nut products, especially macadamia and tahini to pump up the calories. We kept this in the fridge and I would have small amounts throughout the day.

I wish you every best wish in the ordeal that you are both going through right now. Your can and will get through it.

It's three years since my diagnosis and I now run an oesophageal support group in Surrey.

Where do you live? If you'd like to carry on talking with me my email is prendergastmichael@hotmail.com.

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Thank you, we live in Nottinghamshire

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Wiltshire Farm Foods have a selection of pureed meals specially for people who have swallowing issues They are also suitable Post-Op. You could try them, but if your husband is unable to eat anything but soup, you must notify the hospital clinic as he will lose excess weight which may delay surgery. They may have build up supplements to help him maintain weight

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Thank you

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Hi Cazalbir,

This is the nature of the beast for some unfortunately, I had the same problem and I was supplied with some high protein soups which can be made up with full cream milk instead of water, I suggest you see your GP or the Dietitian at the hospital, my wife also made up some soups for me, and then liquidised them.

I hope all goes well for you both.

Jeff

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